New York: US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, expressed the United States’ commitment to repatriating significant artworks to India, emphasising the historical importance of Indian art on a global scale. The envoy’s statement came as American authorities are in the process of returning over 105 antiquities, dating from the 2nd to the 19th century CE, back to India.
In a media briefing, Garcetti said, “We have been working as an embassy in the US government on returning the arts that needs to be in India. This has often come from India; sometimes it’s been stolen and illegally sold. Whether it’s the District Attorney’s office here or the Metropolitan Museum, it has sometimes identified that art and been a wonderful actor, to say, this doesn’t smell right, this needs to go back to India.”
During Prime Minister Modi’s state visit, both India and the US agreed to cooperate on a Cultural Property Agreement, aimed at curbing the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts. This agreement enhances the robust bilateral collaboration between the Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies of the two countries, ensuring the preservation and protection of cultural heritage.
The Indian government has been actively working to retrieve stolen Indian antiquities, which hold immense significance as living symbols of the country’s heritage and culture, from various locations around the world.